Basic Backup Questions for networked computers

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Roger Thomas, Jan 20, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Roger Thomas

    Roger Thomas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Posts:
    17
    Greetings!

    Just have a simple ATI product selection question re: backup .

    I run a small LAN network - 3 machines (Windows 200 Pro SP4).
    1 machine - Office computer serves up information/database via MSSQL to the other two, which are merely 2 point of sale workstations with scanner and scales (grocery retail environment). These other two do not have much information on board by themselves, except network settings, etc...

    I do need to come up with better back up strategy (right now I merely back up essential files/databases from the main Office machine to an external HD).

    Concerns:
    1} Especially with the Office machine, I want to be able to handle any emergency QUICKLY and thoroughly (i.e. as little downtime as possible, given my business/retail environment),
    2) I want to be sure that if I experience total hardware failure especilly at Office machine level (either HDrive or other), I can restore to new hardware (either a new computer or just a new HD) quickly and thoroughy. I am very mindful of possible HD crashes especially ( I have experienced that previously on other systems and was happy to have backed up data. In the case of this business, I do want to be able to restore entire system functionality to new hardware if necessary, and VERY quickly!)
    3) I do NOT want to spend too much $$$ in Acronis Server software. Just want to handle the 3 computers respectively (i.e. no need for network backup management).
    4) NOTE: I do run MSSQL on the Office machine. I do have total downtime (business closed past 11PM). I do understand that SQL databases are a bit trickier to back up, but that I could do thorough backups of such material once the systems are completely unused.

    I hoe this query is not too cumbersome!
    I Will appreciate any advice on Acronis product(s) I needo_O THANKS very much

    I have been conversing on the Acronis pre-sale Chat service, but I seem to be stuck with the support personnel assumption that I must be running Windows 2000 Server of some other flavor of Windows xxx Server. I am not.

    - Roger T
     
  2. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Posts:
    1,389
    Location:
    Leeds, Great Britain
    If you are interested in archiving data on an ongoing basis in a space efficient way then the way forward would be to do regular True Image disk images. However, for the office server, if you are interested in (as close as you can to) zero downtime then a better alternative would be to clone your disk rather than image it. You could do this by installing a second internal diskdrive and house both of them in caddies so they can be swapped over.

    You can then run a scheduled disk clone operation on a daily basis (it would be best if you could guarantee that there were no database transactions in progress at the time it runs).

    Should you suffer a disk failure, all you would need to do is swap the two drives over to get you back to the last snapshot of the system. Note however that you would need some method of verifying that your disaster recovery system works OK. You could do this by swapping over the disks for the first few clones to make sure everything is fine. Or, to be really sure, you could swap them every day.

    If the two workstations' data is relatively static, I would be tempted to use an external harddrive and make the occaisional disk image. Note that you would need a license for each machine.

    F.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Roger Thomas,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Software.

    With your setup we recommend you to use Acronis True Image Echo Workstation with Acronis Universal Restore add-on (for hardware-independent restore).

    Acronis True Image Echo Workstation supports Windows 2000 Professional SP4 (among other systems) and provides the ability for hardware-independent restore via Acronis Universal Restore add-on. It also supports backing up of running databases, and remote management of operations.

    We recommend you to download and install the free trial version of Acronis True Image Echo Workstation to see how the software works on your computer. With the trial version of the product you will be able to fully use the Windows version for 15 days and manage up to 5 remote computers. The bootable rescue media will be limited to restore function.

    Please also be aware that the trial version of Acronis Universal Restore is not available on Acronis web site. In order to obtain the trial version of Acronis Universal Restore please contact Acronis Support Team. Explain your wish to obtain the free trial version of Acronis Universal Restore and provide your personal information (full name; phone number along with the area code; company name, if any) along with the link to this thread. We'll provide you with the free trial version of Acronis Universal Restore as soon as possible.

    You can find detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image Echo Workstation (and Acronis Universal Restore) in the respective User's Guide.

    Please visit Acronis online store to purchase the full version of the product. Please note that according to Acronis License Policy you need to purchase one copy of the product for every computer it will be used to manage.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  4. Roger Thomas

    Roger Thomas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Posts:
    17
    Thank you, Nr Setdikov for the most excellent reply. I was afraid I might have loaded my request with too many details... Perhaps not!
    I will proceed as you suggest. I had actually started examining Acronis products some months ago and got a good feeling about. I am involved in other businesses and shall proceed with Acronis products accordingly across the board.
    Last question, if I may: better to do with an external LAN network storage device (NAS) or an external harddrive connected via USB 2 to the main (Office) workstation? Issues might be speed of back up, etc... Also, I assume that I would have to create either separate files or even partitions on the backup device to accommodate backup files from each of the 3 machines?
    Thanks again!!
    - Roger T
     
  5. Roger Thomas

    Roger Thomas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Posts:
    17
    foghorne,
    Thank you very much for the valuable information & advices. I have only looked into TI backup programs, insofar as their imaging and restoring (especially to new hardware) capabilities. I assume that TI in some way allows for disk cloning? I do believe that your suggestion is indeed valuable especially re: the main Office) workstation - which by the way is of a slim form factor (selected originally for space saving considerations!) and does not have en extra HD bay (Dell slim Optiplex workstations)!

    - Roger T
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.